The Incredible Robert Baldick
The shared Severn Valley Railway locations
One of Robert Baldick's distinctive trademarks, which would have featured prominently in his subsequent adventures (had a full series been commissioned) was his striking private train 'The Tsar'. This marvel of 'modern' technology, which Baldick was immensely proud of, could be adapted to run on the rail network of any European country to which he was called (a factor that Nation was certainly hoping to exploit in future episodes). The BBC hired the real-life engine 'The Lady Armaghdale', and two additional coaches, to take on the role of 'The Tsar', temporarily repainting all three in the red, gold and white livery required by the story.
In Nation's script, the train had originally been commissioned for Tsar Nicholas of Russia, and came complete with such refinements as armour plating, bullet-proof glass, and an on-board laboratory (all elements that Nation was sure would serve future stories well).
The production chose the Severn Valley Railway, which in May 1970 had re-opened its first section of line, between Bridgnorth and Hampton Loade, to stage all of the exterior sequences featuring 'The Tsar' (having decided to record all the interiors scenes set on the train in a studio set).
Filming took place at the Hampton Loade station (which appears in Mad Dog), and along the Bewdley sections of the line, in the middle of June 1972, using the same 16mm film cameras which would subsequently be used on Survivors
Although all of the Hampton Loade sequences are shot in close-up (with little of the station itself appearing on screen), the connection linking Mad Dog and The Incredible Robert Baldick remains both notable and unexpected.
Top row and centre: Hampton Loade train station and the Severn Valley Railway as seen in The Incredible Robert Baldick. Bottom row: Hampton Loade station as seen in Mad Dog.
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